BRAKES 0 BARWELL 6
Leamington’s fine run of results came to a shuddering halt as they suffered their heaviest ever home defeat in the Southern League at the hands of a ruthless and efficient Barwell side, writes Paul Edwards.
The crucial first goal came with just three minutes played, good work from Jamie Towers inside the penalty area allowing Luke Barlone to lift a deft shot over the diving Laurie Walker and into the net.
Leamington responded with their best spell of the game, Stefan Moore registering their first shot on target with a stinging drive that brought the best out of Liam Castle.
Richard Lavery was fortunate to escape without a booking after a poor challenge on Lee Moore in front of the two benches and from the resulting free-kick Richard Batchelor planted a firm header inches wide of the upright with Castle helpless. Moore then sent a free-kick of his own just over the bar after Ricky Johnson had been fouled 25 yards out. Johnson then headed goalwards but straight into the arms of the Barwell keeper.
Brakes’ failure to find the net was compounded in the 26th minute when Liam Daly’s lunge on Towers resulted in a penalty which Barlone converted despite Walker getting a touch on the ball.
It was to get worse before half time, with Lavery sending a towering header back across goal from a right-wing corner to put the visitors three goals to the good.
An early second-half goal was required if Leamington were to have any hope of getting something from the game and Lee Chilton very nearly provided it, clattering the bar with a powerful strike from the edge of the area after Daly’s back-heel.
A quick break forward saw Towers pick up possession on the right wing and dance through the Leamington defence before Craig Owen cleared a shot from Scott Lower off the line.
Tom Weale then shot straight at Walker after a marauding run.
Weale was to be the beneficiary of a further meltdown in the Brakes defence in the 67th minute.
Owen tried to shepherd the ball out of play on the byeline and Towers muscled in to prod it across goal for Weale to slot home at the far post.
Chilton drew a flying save from Liam Castle but Leamington were well and truly beaten in the 83rd minute when Walker could only parry substitute Matt West’s long-range effort into the path of Canaries skipper Scott Hadland, who gleefully fired home number five.
The misery was completed for Brakes with almost the last action of the game. Jamie Hood was cautioned for giving away a free-kick just outside the area on the right and Lavery rose to thump home another header.
Brakes: Laurie Walker, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Craig Owen, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Lee Moore, Lee Chilton, Stefan Moore (Josh Tiff, 84), Ricky Johnson (James Husband, 74), Richard Batchelor (Tom James, 72). Subs not used: Joe Magunda, Niall Cooper.
Barwell: Liam Castle, Scott Lower, Jack Edwards, Guy Hadland, Mark Albrighton, Richard Lavery, Jamie Towers (Matt West, 83), Scott Hadland, Luke Barlone (Kevin Charley, 56), Thomas Weale, Justin Marsden (Scott Rickards, 74). Subs not used: Jamie McAteer, Tom Bates.